United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Robert Chencinski has filed a Motion Requesting an Eye
Specialist to be Present at the Preliminary Injunction
Hearing (Doc. 48) and a Motion for Limited Counsel. For the
following reasons both motions are denied.
Motion Requesting Eye Specialist, Chencinski asks the Court
to recruit an ophthalmologist to testify regarding his eye
condition, blepharospasm, and to present medical evidence on
his behalf. He states that Dr. Myers is not an eye specialist
and has not spoken with the ophthalmologist who has treated
him. He claims that the preliminary injunction involves
medical records and requires an assessment of the adequacy of
treatment, which will likely require expert testimony.
Chencinski has been granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, there is not a statutory provision or
constitutional right that directs the appointment of an
expert witness at government expense to testify on a
litigant's behalf. See Brown v. United States,
74 Fed.Appx. 611, 614-15 (7th Cir. 2004). Rule 706 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows the appointment of a
neutral expert witness if the Court determines that such an
expert is necessary to help the trier-of-fact understand
complex information. See Kennedy v. Huibregtse, 831
F.3d 441, 443 (7th Cir. 2016); Ledford v. Sullivan,
105 F.3d 354, 358-359 (7th Cir. 1997). “But [Rule 706]
allows appointment of an expert witness if necessary to help
the court understand the issues, not to assist a
party in preparing his case.” Dobbey v.
Carter, 734 Fed.Appx. 362, 364-65 (7th Cir. 2018);
see also Turner v. Cox, 569 Fed.Appx. 463, 468 (7th
Chencinski is not entitled to have an expert witness
“testify on his behalf in order to establish a
fundamental element of his case[, ]” Brown, 74
Fed.Appx. at 614, at the government's expense and, given
the early stage of litigation, there is nothing to suggest
that Chencinski's claims will require the assistance of a
neutral expert in order for the trier-of-fact to understand
the complexity of the issues in this case, the motion is
denied. See Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d 763, 779
(7th Cir. 2008); Watts v. Monroe, No. 15-cv-0778,
2017 WL 2794286, at *5 (S.D. Ill. June, 28, 2017) (expert
testimony not necessarily required for a deliberate
also has filed a third motion for the recruitment of counsel.
In the motion, he requests for the recruitment of counsel for
the limited purposes of helping him during the preliminary
injunction hearing and to draft an amended complaint. As
discussed in the Order denying his Motion for Reconsideration
for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 44) and the Merit Review
Order (Doc. 8), as a litigant in a civil case, Chencinski has
no right to counsel. Romanelli v. Suliene, 615 F.3d
847, 851 (7th Cir. 2010). Of course, a district court
“may request an attorney to represent any person unable
to afford counsel.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(1).
Recruitment of counsel lies within the sound discretion of
the Court. See Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654
(7th Cir. 2007) (citing Johnson v. Doughty, 433 F.3d
1001, 1006 (7th Cir. 2006)).
in this case has changed since the Court denied his previous
request for counsel that would allow the Court to conclude
that Chencinski could not fairly litigate his claims without
counsel at this stage. At the preliminary injunction hearing,
Chencinski will be given the opportunity to question
witnesses and present his case. His pleadings continue to
indicate that he can effectively communicate and follow
directions from this Court, and so the Court finds he is
competent to litigate his own claims.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion Requesting Eye
Specialist (Doc. 48) and Motion for Limited Counsel (Doc. 49)
are DENIED without prejudice.
IS SO ORDERED.
 The test established in
Pruitt is “whether the difficulty of the
case-factually and legally-exceeds the particular
plaintiff's capacity as a layperson to coherently present
it to the judge or jury himself.” Pruitt, 503
F.3d at 655.
 The Court notes that Chencinski claims
he cannot call witnesses for the preliminary injunction
hearing, but he may call witnesses at the hearing by filing a
motion and submitting a list ...